Archive for the ‘ ~2 to 3 Miles~ ’ Category

Dunham’s Brook – Westport

  • Dunham’s Brook Conservation Area
  • Main Road, Westport, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°32’37.64″N, 71° 5’14.17″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 8, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.8 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

Wedged between Main Road and Route 88, Dunham’s Brook offers nearly 3 miles of trails in three very different and distinctive loops. Starting from the parking area, the trail first follows an open area of grass before entering the woods. At the first wooden bridge look to the right to notice a pond. The next bridge crosses Dunham’s Brook itself. Shortly after that is an area of boardwalk that winds through the thick brush. After taking a sharp right and climbing uphill, you will come to a set of stairs of the left. Go left here first climbing the stairs up to the trail (blue loop) This trail will lead you along the ridge of the hill passing the remains of a stone silo on the left before coming out to a large farm field. The trail bends to the right here. The path to the right (blue loop) will turn back to the south pass a stone wall and end at the orange loop. The path to the left (green loop) will lead you through a large seasonal corn field before entering the woods once again. This section is not shown on the map provided, but is shown at the kiosk at the trailhead. A logging operation was also actively occurring at the time of this hike. Continuing straight the trail will soon turn to the right to complete the loop. Turn left and retrace your steps back through the corn field, pass the silo, and to the stairs. For the last part of this hike, turn left at the bottom of the stairs, follow the trail slightly uphill to the next intersection. Turn left onto the blue trail and follow it to the stone wall at the corn field. Turn right here and follow the orange loop trail as it re-enters the woods. The trail winds through a dense area of woods and wetlands along the southern end of the property. The trail eventually makes a loop and returns to the stairs. From here continue ahead and retrace your steps back to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Dunham’s Brook

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The Stairs at Dunham’s Serves as a Good Reference Point

 

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Cormier Woods – Uxbridge

  • Cormier Woods
  • Chapin Street, Uxbridge, MA
  • Trailhead:  42° 4’10.60″N, 71°35’41.86″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 15, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.6 miles
  • Fairly easy, some moderate hills.

 

There are several miles of trails here at Cormier Woods and the abutting properties. This hike focused on the main trails of Cormier Woods, which in themselves offer an abundance of solitude. Starting from the parking lot by the barn we first crossed the street and made our way to the red trail. At the intersection for the loop we turned left and followed the red trail clockwise first making our way through a narrow fern flanked path before passing a private residence and open field. The trail then winds back into the woods as it heads away from roads and residences. The further into the woods the quieter it would get. The red trail turns to the right as it approaches a swamp on the left and then winds through the western edges of the property coming to a boulder field. At the next intersection stay to the left and follow the blue trail downhill. It turns to the right a couple times and then climbs up a graded trail that looks as if it was once used as a cartpath or railway. At the top of the hill, just after a massive boulder, are a couple cellar holes of the Jonathon White Homestead. Continuing along the blue trail we soon came back to the red trail where we turned left and followed it clockwise steadily uphill for a bit. The trail winds passing ledges and several stone walls before coming to the first intersection. Turning left here returns you to the parking lot. From the parking lot we followed the yellow blazed trail clockwise as well. First through a meadow, then back into the woods. The white blazed trail on the left leads to several more miles of trails at Meadow Brook Woods and furthermore connects to the Mendon Town Forest. For this hike we kept it simple and continued along the yellow trail leading to a blueberry patch that was in bloom (and they were delicious). The trail turns to the right and leads towards the barn and back to the parking area. Hunting is allowed here, so blaze orange is required during hunting season. Deer, coyote, and fisher cat have been observed here as well.

 

Map can be found at: Cormier Woods

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Passing The Boulder Field

Brown House Glen Farm Trail – Portsmouth

  • Brown House Glen Farm Trail
  • Linden Lane, Portsmouth, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°33’17.53″N, 71°15’3.56″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 12, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.7 miles
  • Fairly easy, some small hills.

 

At the extreme northerly end of the Sakonnet Greenway on Linden Lane there are two kiosks. One is for the Greenway itself and the other is for the lesser known Brown House Glen Farm Trail. The route follows mostly roads and tree lines and is not overly defined. There are some trail markers, but they are far between. The walk itself covers some quite beautiful and historical property. Starting from the parking area directly across from the northerly terminus of the Greenway, walk east down the paved and aptly named Linden Lane. The narrow paved road is flanked by stone walls under a canopy of linden trees. To the right are the fields of the Newport Polo Grounds. At the intersection, continue straight passing an old house, known as the Red Cross House, on the left. The house was occupied by the farm superintendent and during World War II volunteers rolled bandages here. Continuing straight the road is now dirt, crosses a small brook, and bends to the right before coming to Glen Farm Road. Turn left here and follow the paved road to its end, passing a few residences along the way. Turn right onto Glen Road and almost immediately on the right is the path to the wooden footbridge. After crossing the bridge stay to your right and follow the tree line keeping the recreation areas to your left. Soon you will came to some old farm structures. Stay to the right here then continue to follow the tree line southerly, then easterly, before turning northerly making your way around a hilly field with a sheep shed in the middle. Soon you will come the kiosk at the far end of the trail. From here, turn left and follow the tree line (and power lines) up the hill back to the farm structures. From here continue straight retracing your steps back to the footbridge and Glen Farm Road. On the way back turn right at utility pole 11 and follow the dirt road into the barn area of the farm. This area is still active so use caution while exploring the area. Some of the buildings (not in use) are literally crumbling here and others are used for horses. The stone barns date back to the early 1900’s. The road then turns to the left passing an indoor rink to the left before coming to the Red Cross House once again. Turn right here and follow Linden Lane back to the parking area.

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Glen Farm

Telford Park – Plainville

  • Telford Park
  • South Street, Plainville, MA
  • Trailhead:  42° 0’20.99″N, 71°20’16.12″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 12, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.2 miles
  • Fairly easy, trails can be muddy.

 

Behind Plainville Town Hall is a recreational park that offers a pool, fields, courts, and a playground. Beyond the playground is a concrete bridge that crosses the Ten Mile River and leads you to a network of trails. The trails, mostly an old rail bed and dirt roads, wind through the swampy areas near the headwaters of the Ten Mile River. The trails can be a bit muddy at times and even flooded when the river rises. There are several locations where the river crosses the trails. Most of theses crossings have bridges. Keep in mind that these trails are also used quite heavily by dirt bike riders. There is a marked loop to follow that will lead you up to Fuller Street.

 

Map can be found at: Telford Park

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Crossing The Ten Mile River

Capwell Mill Pond – West Greenwich

  • Capwell Mill Pond – Big River Management Area
  • Burnt Sawmill Road, West Greenwich, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°38’39.57″N, 71°36’27.08″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 17, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.7 miles
  • Fairly easy with some difficult navigation.

 

This is yet another beautiful hike in the Big River Management Area. The trails here are numerous, unmarked, and can be difficult to navigate. With that being said, it is not advisable to do this hike without a reliable map, an understanding how to read it, a sense of direction, and absolutely be sure to use GPS tracking in the case you need to back track. This hike starts from a small parking area along Burnt Swamp Road before the gate by the Capwell Mill Pond Dam. It is about three tenths of a mile from Nooseneck Hill Road. After passing the gate you will see the dam on the left. Shortly after the dam follow the narrow trail to the left. It climbs slightly uphill into a grass field before winding into the tall pines. Soon a trail comes in from the right. Stay to the left here and you will cross a bridge. The view, overlooking a tributary of the pond is quite pleasant. After the bridge the trail splits, continue straight. The trail slowly climbs uphill through a lush forest of pines. Be aware of your trail intersections for this walk. At the next trail intersection continue straight again following the main trail. You will continue to climb slightly uphill. This section of trail can be quite wet after a heavy rain. You will soon pass a stone wall. Just after the wall is a narrow path to the left. Ignore it for this hike and continue ahead. You will soon pass a second stone wall and then the trail winds a bit before coming to a large boulder at a trail intersection. This is about the one mile mark. Ignore the trail to left and continue straight on the main trail as it starts to bend to the right. Slow down and start looking for the next trail intersection about one tenth of a mile after the large boulder. As the trail starts to turn to the right by a mossy rock with a tree growing on it there is a trail on the left. It is narrow, but defined enough to be noticed. Turn left here and follow the trail as it starts downhill. Soon the trail ends at another well defined trail. There will be a white blaze on the tree at the intersection. Turn left here. In a few yards you will come to another intersection with a tree blazed white. You will want to continue straight, but first follow the trail to the right to the bridge crossing the stream called Mud Bottom Brook. The slight detour is well worth it. Take a moment here. The babbling brook drowns out all other nearby sounds and you are out in the middle of nowhere nearly a mile from any civilization. Return up the hill to the tree with the white blazes and turn right. After making the turn and following the trail you will pass a stone wall on the left. The stone wall then flanks the trail to the right for a bit before the trail starts to descend downhill leaving the stone wall behind. The trail then starts its slight bend to the left passing a boulder in the middle of the trail. The boulder is a good reference point and is just the right height to sit for a moment and take in the nature around you. From here the trail continues downhill and bending to the left. You will start getting your first glimpses of the pond through the trees on the right. Passing another stone wall the trail splits. They rejoin in a few yards where the trail splits yet again. At this split stay to the right. There is also some mountain laurel scattered around in the area. Continuing ahead the pond is still to the right through the trees and there is another stone wall on the left. The trail turns to the left crossing the stone wall and then to the right meandering to and from the pond. A trail soon comes in from the left, stay to the right and continue to the end of the trail. Turn right and you will cross the bridge overlooking the tributary of the pond once again. Just after the bridge turn right onto the trail that will lead you back to the dam and parking area. Blaze orange is required during hunting season.

 

Map can be found at: Capwell Mill Pond (Map 1), (Map 2).

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Pines, Stone Walls, And The Pond.

Ponaganset Covered Bridge Trail – Glocester

  • Ponaganset Covered Bridge Trail
  • Anan Wade Road, Glocester, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°51’59.71″N,71°42’43.31″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 15, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.0 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

The cross country course behind Ponaganset High School in Glocester may be one of the best kept secret trails in the state. Open to the public when not in use for track meets and other school events, this trail offers a nice 2 mile stroll through some beautiful wooded property that is zigzagged with small seasonal streams. The bridges across these streams are the highlights of this walk, one being a covered bridge. For this walk, you start from the north parking lot of the High School by the superintendents office. Stay to the right and make your way to the football field and track. On the right is the trailhead marked with a sign. Follow the stone dust trail and you soon come to the covered bridge. Continuing, the trail follows the perimeter of a ball field before turning slightly to the right and uphill. At the top of the hill the trail turns to the left and slightly downhill to a four way intersection dubbed “Grand Central Station”. For this walk take the second left. You will follow a loop trail the traverses through the southern end of the property eventually returning to the four way intersection. From the intersection continue straight up and over the hill, back down to the covered bridge, returning to the parking lot.

 

Map can be found at: Ponaganset Covered Bridge Trail.

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Covered Bridge at Ponaganset

West Hill Dam – Uxbridge/Northbridge

  • West Hill Dam
  • Hartford Avenue East, Uxbridge, MA
  • Trailhead:  42° 6’12.84″N, 71°36’30.60″W
  • First Time Hiked: December 19, 2017
  • Last Time Hiked: July 7, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.7 miles
  • Fairly easy with some slight elevation.

 

In 1955, Hurricane Diane caused extensive flooding particularly along the Blackstone River including the city of Woonsocket, Rhode Island. In 1960, the West Hill Dam was completed and almost immediately tested by Hurricane Donna. The cities and towns downstream did not flood. The dam and the property around the dam is owned and maintained by the United States Corp of Army Engineers. The property is open to passive recreation such as swimming, picnicking, and hiking. There are three blazed trails on the property. The orange blazed Woodland Trail encompasses almost the entire property. A yellow blazed Grassland Trail meanders through the southwestern section of the property. Lastly the green blazed West River Trail loops in the center of the property. For this hike we started from the parking lot at the southern Access Road off of Hartford Avenue East. Walking north along the road we soon came to a kiosk warning of hunting season. Blaze orange is required here from October to January when hiking. Turning left we started to follow the gravel road that is blazed with orange diamond markers. The road is slightly raised above the surrounding terrain for a bit. At the intersection, turn to the right and continue to follow the orange blazes. The trail, still following a road, winds through a grove of hemlocks and is flanked by small ponds. Soon you will start seeing stone walls and a large granite bollard with a “N” carved in one side and an “U” carved in the other. This is the town line marker between Uxbridge and Northbridge. Shortly thereafter the orange blazed trail meets with the yellow blazed trail. For this short stretch follow the yellow blazes. The orange blazed trail runs parallel on the other side of the wall but the views are better along the yellow trail. To your right is a sweeping view of a small valley and the grasslands that the West River passes through. The yellow blazed trail soon splits to the right, stay left and pick up the orange blazed trail once again. Next there is a fairly large cellar hole on the left. Soon after that you will come to a road. Stay to the right here and follow the road to a parking lot on the left. By the kiosk is the beginning of the green blazed trail. This trail is about a half mile long and winds up and down hills as it loops through the forest of pines between a pond and the West River. There are several spur trails in this area, however, the green blazes are abundant and easy to follow. At the top of one of the hills is a bench to take a break. There are several bird feeders below that attract birds such as titmouse, nuthatch, and chickadees. Taking a moment to take in the sights we could also hear woodpeckers in the distance. Continuing along the green trail we soon came to the road once again. Turning left, we crossed a bridge over the West River. Along the road on the right is the Harrington Pool Picnic Area. There is a fee in the summer to swim and picnic here. After passing through the parking lot stay to the right of the information kiosk and follow the orange blazes once again. At the next split, stay to the right again following the orange blazes. The trail soon turns to the south and slowly climbs uphill as it winds through more forest. There is an occasional seasonal brook along the way and several large boulders. Soon the trail comes to the massive earthen dam. The walk across the top of the dam offers another sweeping view of the valley below. At the other end of the dam a small bridge crosses the West River nearly fifty feet below in a gorge. From here follow the access road back to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: West Hill Dam.

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View From Upon The Dam

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